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A Few Men Share Their Thoughts from Our Discussion Last Week

disrespectedmen

Here are some masculine responses to our discussion last week “I Just Want Him to Spend More Time with Me.”  I am so thankful for all the men who were willing to take the time to answer. We appreciate your comments so much! This Thursday and next Monday I will be sharing what the ladies had to say about this important topic.  These men are opening up and being vulnerable with us – I would like this to be a safe place for them to do this. Comments are welcome, but, ladies, let’s not use this opportunity to criticize these husbands, but rather to seek to understand their point of view. This is a fantastic opportunity to expand and stretch our understanding and to explore the world of masculinity together. (And, gentlemen, as per my comment policy, I am unable to publish comments that are “manospherian” in honor of my husband’s request for me not to. Thanks for understanding.)

CAUTION – apparently for some of the ladies, reading about how men think and feel can be a trigger for sinful thoughts. If reading a post like this is going to get you thinking about why your husband should be more like a woman or how you want him to change, please consider whether you might want to skip today’s post!

MAN #1 (responding to a particular wife’s comment)

If I may, perhaps I can help you to understand your husband’s perspective in your situation.

You asked him to spend more time, and he did spend more time. Yet you are frustrated. This gets him confused and frustrated, because he honestly believes that he did exactly what you asked him to do.

I would like to make a suggestion to you that might create in him a desire to spend more time with you.

  • Thank him for spending time with you, even though you believe that he did it only to appease you. And then drop the issue, at least for now.

If he believes that you honestly appreciate that he did spend some time with you, he will want to spend more time with you. However, if he believes that you will not acknowledge what he did, then he will figure, “What’s the use? She won’t acknowledge that I did spend time with her.”

  • In addition to thanking him for spending time with you, spend some time with him. But do it his way, not your way.

When he is working on a project in the house, simply sit with him without saying a word, just because you want to be with him in his world. If he wants conversation, you talk about what he wants to talk about, and only for as long as he wants to talk about it. Otherwise, don’t say a word. He will notice that you sat with him with no strings attached, and that you let him totally define how the time together was spent. He will appreciate that you were with him in his world, and you let him totally define that world.

It may be a slow process, but if you will begin thanking him for whatever steps he takes, however small, and if you will begin spending time in his world as I have described above, I believe you will begin to see improvement in your situation.

 

MAN #2

As a husband who loves spending time with his wife and who spends most of everyday in close proximity of her, she has learned the following about this man.

1. I can only do one thing at a time well & joyfully. I enjoy talking when its talking time. And when it’s not, I prefer to concentrate on what I am doing.

2. I love her more than anything. But any conversation where she expects me to carry half of it will have to be 5 minutes or shorter, then it drops to a 80/20 ratio at best. I’ve only got so many words to use in a day and when the quota is up it’s my Bible, a book, the TV, the computer…or watching paint dry- but no more words! They are truly painful after that point.

3. I have two gears. Go all out and stop. I don’t switch them well. I’m usually good for conversation during the stop but not during the first 15 minutes of it. That is my transition time.

4. She’s learned that I love her and I think she is immensely talented in many things- like scrapbooking. But I will never “care” about it. Just that she enjoys herself doing it.

5. I don’t enjoy talking about things that I don’t care about. My eyes will quickly glaze over no matter how much I care about her. We like “meat” to our conversations. And yes, sometimes sports count because it’s the only “battle” that is allowed in manhood anymore.

6. I could spend all day by her side and that would be enjoyable. I could not spend all day talking. But sitting next to her. Holding hands. You bet.

 

MAN #3

I write this with a heavy heart, but with the hope that it may help some wives understand some things from a man’s perspective. For me (and I would think it applies to at least a few other men), when requests are submitted like wanting to spend more time, you have to look at the recent history (and maybe even not so recent) history of the relationship. The first thing I have thought when it was presented to me was “when we are together it has always been a painful experience, so why would I want to do that?”

I’m not saying this is right, but what I immediately think about are all the criticisms, innuendo’s, complaints, and disappointments, etc., that have happened when we have been together. It could be criticisms about how I drive, or what I wear. It could be unresolved arguments. I (we) have sometimes even though “Why does she want to spend time with me when apparently she does not respect me?” All these things and more go throught our (my) mind. Your motives may be pure in wanting to spend time with us, but if there are issues, it may not be easy to communicate it.

I’m a pretty laid back guy. I will avoid a fight if I can. But I am very easy to approach. If you approach me correctly. If you don’t then the defensive shields will go up. What you are saying could be good, true and sincere, but if it’s said in a disrespectful way you will lose us. So my suggestion is that before you present your hubby with a request such as spending more time, ask him first about how he’s feeling about things in a non-confrontational way. Build up to that. If you are not careful, he will take it as a criticism…especially if you say something like “Why don’t we spend more time together?” All this might sound childish, but those are the things that go through our head, especially if we feel we have not been respected or appreciated. We will not be able to make the transition from not spending time with you to automatically wanting to spend quality time, unless certain things have been addressed first.

83 thoughts on “A Few Men Share Their Thoughts from Our Discussion Last Week

  1. I can tell that my husband appreciates it if I sit with him while he is working in the garage, or outside, or something similar. When he is done, he will even thank me for helping! I try to tell him that I didn’t help at all, but he insists that I did. 🙂

  2. Men and women are immensely DIFFERENT creatures. Hubby and I spend a LOT of time together. The more we “live and let live”–thus allowing each of us to be who we are–the more we enjoy each other’s presence.

    Thank you for sharing these response. Direct insight is tremendously helpful!

  3. Ok, I agree somewhat with man number 1. The compromise that my husband and I have come to is that I will do one project with him each week where I just sit and help him do something like wire for electricity, build a fence, etc. He actually does a lot of talking while he does this most of the time, but if not being quiet is fine But then we try to do a “fun” activity outside the house for me a couple of times a month.

  4. Ladies,

    I”m so thankful for the men who were willing to be vulnerable with us and share their perspectives. Comments are welcome, however, I would like us to refrain from criticizing these men for the purposes of what we are seeking to learn here – and focus on seeking to better understand men in general and our own husbands in particular. Thanks for the cooperation!

  5. Would any of the men here care to share some insight with me on a specific situation? Yesterday was our anninversary. He had shopped online for a gift for me (and told me about it)…..was going to go shopping in person on Friday, but stayed late at a work happy hour and didn’t feel like going shopping after that. Asked for a 7pm dinner last night so he could have time to shop before we met, but then didn’t feel like it (he had a tooth extracted last week and has been experiencing discomfort for a week). Last night, we met for dinner. I gave him a card and gift. He didn’t want to open it because he didn’t have anything for me. He also didn’t want to express any “mushy anniversary talk”…..kind of acted like any other dinner/date night. He did post a pic of his food on facebook and wished me a happy anniversary there. Am I wrong to feel hurt or is this man a lost cause that does not really love me?

    He did open up a bit when I told him that I would marry him again. He looked shocked and said “well, I would marry you again, of course, but I didn’t think you would” Are there any clues in that?

    Thanks, in advance, for any insight!

    1. I would say that line shows he is hurting as badly as you.

      One thing for some gals to understand about gifts is that some of us men:
      1) gifts mean absolutely nothing to us. I’m not a fan of “love languages” but honestly, out of the five it’s in negative territory! They just don’t register on my radar. I love to see my wife and children smile when they get their’s, but my wife picks out half of her gifts herself (the rest are usually duds). I’m better at picking out gifts for the kids but I just don’t get “woman” gifts. I scored a few months ago by picking her up an antique necklace when an appointment got delayed and I stopped into a gift shop to see if I could find something. But those moments are few and far between- anniversary or not.

      2)Shopping (even for man stuff) is a dreaded thing. I feel quite lost in most stores and the selection is overwhelming.

      Keep in mind, my wife and I have a great marriage. She knows I love her more than anything. Most days she would call me a great husband (and I certainly would call her a great wife). I’m successful in business and with people. I just add this last bit to help you understand that some men our wiring just doesn’t get gifts or shopping, no matter how much we love our wife- it is just foreign to us. It’s akin to asking someone with no artistic ability to paint you a beautiful picture…well this artist has been practicing for sixteen years and it still looks like a three years old’s finger painting when it comes to shopping.

      1. Thank you for this insight! It helps me put this in perspective. I do think his primary love language is action. He used to give gifts “just because”…..and would give extravagant gifts on special occasions. That’s why it’s hurtful for something like this to happen. It’s NOT that I need a gift. It’s just the comparison to how he USED to be makes me feel like he no longer loves me.

      2. CL847,

        Interestingly, my husband loves to give gifts. He is much better at it than I am! I am not really that into gifts. And I am AWFUL at choosing gifts. We are probably not the norm with this particular dynamic! Thankfully, he was willing to take over all the Christmas shopping for us – and we are both happy with that arrangement!

        Your second point reminds me so much of what Greg, my husband, said to me one time about writing love letters. I used to ask him to write me a love letter for my birthday or Valentine’s day – and I would say “at least 3 sentences long.” He hated that! He told me years later that he felt about writing long, mushy, emotional love letters the way I would probably feel if he asked me to “just make me a set of shelves.”

        Um…

        If he asked me to just make him a set of shelves – we would have a big problem! I hate using power tools. They scare me! I am awful with hammers and drills. I can paint pretty well – but to build a set of shelves, I would feel completely overwhelmed.

        That illustration stuck with me. He feels that way about words. Words come to me very easily. Obviously! Too many words, some may say. 🙂 But words are not easy for him – especially words about emotions. He shows his love by doing things – like by remodeling the house or buying me a gift or bringing me something I asked for from the flee market. I daresay he even feels this way about praying out loud in front of me.

        This is an opportunity for me to learn to receive love the way he shows it and to understand that we have different strengths and gifts and that I can appreciate his love even if he doesn’t show it in the way I would prefer to receive love. It is an opportunity to give grace.

        Your comment is so very helpful! Thank you!

    2. NW Girl,

      Happy Anniversary!!! 🙂

      I wonder, how have you responded when he has gotten gifts for you in the past? How have things been going lately? Sounds like there may be quite a bit of tension?

      I’m so glad you shared that you would marry him again. I think you may have opened things up to begin healing with that statement! If he knows that you would marry him again, that you really do value and love him, he may feel safe enough to begin putting more effort into the marriage.

      Praying for wisdom and healing for you both!

      1. I think that in the past, maybe I wasn’t as thrilled as he was hoping for (though I always expressed gratitude). I think it’s interesting that I started wearing one of his gifts, a little silver necklace, every day for the last few weeks and when he showed me online, what he had been looking at for me……it was a necklace…..a very pretty, expensive necklace. He said that he had been nervous to buy me something that expensive without me being there with him to help pick it out. You may be on to something there.

        Things had been going very well the last few months. We had a trip to Hawaii that was really like a second honeymoon. I’m not sure what happened in the last month or so, but he started pulling away again. I have been praying for God to bring all that is hidden and buried to the surface for healing, so I agree with you that God used that statement to give my husband an opportunity to bring his hurt to the surface for healing.

        Thank you for the prayers for wisdom and healing! Much needed for both of us. God told me a couple of weeks ago that whatever I pray for him, I need to pray for myself, because we are joined, as one….and that we will be healed as one.

        1. NW Girl,

          I have a feeling that if you wear things he has given you before, and gush about the gifts he has given you, he may build up the confidence to buy you something else. And wow! Sounds like he really does love to buy you things – but that he is just concerned you won’t like it.

          I am so excited you got to have that trip to Hawaii!

          I am also very excited that you can begin to work together toward restoring unity and trust and toward focusing on “we are in this thing together for life.” I think that as you communicate that you are on his team, that you respect him, and as you honor him to others and don’t speak negatively about him, and as you honor his leadership and focus on your walk with Christ and being filed with His Spirit and His joy – things will begin to gel in time.

          I like that – praying for yourself for whatever you pray for your husband. That is beautiful. Yes, you are one! When one suffers, the other suffers, and when one is blessed, the other is blessed. 🙂

    3. Happy anniversary, NW Girl. My 20th anniversary is coming up next month, and I just wanted to share what I have learned. In the beginning years, I had high expectations of what our anniversary celebrations should be. I got these ideas mostly from movies and other people encouraging these notions. No matter how hard my hubby tried, it just didn’t work out. At one point we kind of both started dreading these”special days.”

      As I grew closer to God, and became more concerned with my relationship with Him over any other, those expectations started to diminish. I was just happy and thankful to be married to someone who loved me deeply and loved God. I stopped focusing on what I wanted or thought I deserved.

      Trigger alert! I want to share to encourage others that great marriages are possible. They just might not seem great to a Hollywood audience! We aren’t planning anything special for our 20th, other than going out to dinner. My husband and I have such a great relationship and we just love being together that we put all that other stuff aside. Our focus is on raising our children in the ways of the Lord, and growing together. I think it also helped that I stopped watching romantic movies – even though the reason was because most of them have or hint at fornication or adultery, and they are not God-honoring.

      I love to daydream about the future. I love thinking about when we’re in our 80’s, sitting together, holding hands. I guess many of us used to daydream about the future before we got married. When we were dating, it gave us excitement about our relationship. So why not do the same thing now? Also, when I would start to feel like we were drifting away, I would remember all those times we were so bonded to one another, and that would draw me closer again to my hubby.

      I think we women can change our perspectives, and thus our lives, greatly by what we think. April has mentioned how she must confess her thoughts or attitude to the Lord when she is going off track. That is a habit worth developing! If we are constantly in a thankful spirit, it is harder to be disappointed. I just realized that maybe I started becoming more thankful when I started thanking God for my food at each meal. It is a reminder throughout the day to be thankful to God for everything.

      I wish I could say so much more and encourage everyone in their marriages. It is one of the most beautiful things God has given us here on earth. Like our growth in Christ, there will be difficult times, but afterwards it will be even better! I’ve learned to appreciate the tough times in life because I know that they are growing pains, and that they are meant to make me more Christ-like and bring me closer to God. I pray that you keep praying and loving your husband, and that you have many more years of a blessed marriage!

      1. Leslie,
        This is awesome!

        I actually have some posts about these things:

        My Husband Forgot Our Anniversary

        My Husband Forgot Our Anniversary – And I’m So Happy to Be Married to Him!

        Valentine’s Day Expectations

        Greg and I had our 20th anniversary this past May. For our 10th anniversary, we went on a BIG trip. We haven’t gone on a big trip together since then. For our 20th, my hours had been cut very dramatically for the past year. We didn’t have a lot of extra funding for celebrations. It didn’t phase me at all. Greg took me out to dinner. We went on a walk near a bridge beside a river in our town and took pictures of each other with beautiful scenery. We went to an Italian Ice place. I enjoyed every moment.

        I am at a place now, where, even if we stayed home and had grilled cheese sandwiches, I am content and thrilled to be with my husband. We can make memories without spending money. I can be content in a fancy restaurant or at our dining room table. Actually, last year, we had our anniversary at home and ate left overs! Then we went out for Italian ice with our children and our kids took some pics of us in front of the church where we had gotten married. It was one of my favorite anniversary celebrations!

        I love your attitude. I love your approach and perspective. I think we have SO MUCH POWER as women to decide to be content and to appreciate what we have, to let go of expectations and enjoy the blessings we have.

        Thank you so much for speaking encouragement to our sisters. You are a blessing and what incredible treasure you are carrying in your soul. I hope you will share more about your story with us as you have time. 🙂

        Much love!
        April

      2. Thank you, Leslie. Your words are very encouraging. Thank you for sharing what God has taught you from your experience in marriage. I look forward to getting to that content place you describe. I feel like it’s not too far away and that’s why God keeps reminding me about the Children of Israel and the Wilderness. I don’t want to give up on Day 40!

        You have challenged me to look for things to be thankful for…..like this cup of coffee that I am drinking. It’s delicious and my husband made it for us, just like he does every morning. Acts of service are his love language, so I am thanking God for this tiny little sign of my husband’s love. I know there are more if I will just look. In fact, last night, my husband and I were talking about a frustrating situation that involves my daughter and her father and money. My husband said “Don’t you have it really great now, compared to when you were with him? You have a husband who has a good job, pays bills on time, helps buy groceries, etc”. God immediately showed me that my husband wants recognition for his acts of service, even if they are something that I think should be a given…..because they aren’t always a given. I told him that he is a wonderful husband and I am very thankful for him. He said……..nothing. So weird….but, I know God prompted me, so I did that out of obedience to Him.

        This week has been tough. He had a tooth extracted last week, in prep for more oral surgery. He has a low threshold for pain, so he has been barely kissing me goodbye in the morning and each evening. I’m guessing it’s to protect his mouth from more pain. He has also been taking painkillers, which have had an effect on his libido…..AND, both of his bosses are gone, so he is in charge at work and he is taking on a lot of responsibility there. He has been extremely work-focused (he usually is, but it’s been even more this week). All of these factors would normally have sent me into a crying fit. I would have demanded that he pay attention to me or I would find a man who would. Because of the work God has done on my heart, I haven’t done that. I feel the same hurts inside (it feels a lot like rejection), but I also hear God’s voice, telling me to “wait”. God has been reminding me of very recent times where my husband has been exactly what I hoped and dreamed of in a mate. Just this morning, God showed me how I keep waiting for my husband to be what I want/need……when I really need to be waiting on The Lord. I don’t know exactly what I am waiting on Him for……but for now, I just know that He has told me to wait, so I am choosing obedience and giving everything my self wants and desires from and for this marriage to Him. I can’t fix any of it…..only HE can.

        Ladies- you are all such a blessing and encouragement. Thank you for sharing what God is/has been showing and teaching you. Thank you, as well, to the brave men who open up and share their perspective and what God is teaching them. I know that when believers share God’s goodness with each other to lift each other up, it pleases Him. 🙂

  6. NOTE FROM PEACEFULWIFE-
    ** This comment will probably be a big trigger for sinful thoughts for many of you. I would highly suggest not reading it. **

    I have a few “why” questions. I am wondering if the men might could weigh in here too. Most of us ladies when dating our husbands were getting our emotional needs met. If we were not, then we would not have married our husbands. After marriage here we are trying to figure out how to get it back.

    I realize that both husbands and wives change and that causes issues. I became controlling. I own that.

    So I ask…Why do I have to push back my need for affection, closeness and intimacy because now my husband doesn’t give that in the same amounts as dating? Why do I have to not talk because now he doesn’t like to talk as much when we used to spend all day talking? Why doesn’t he make an effort of just a few minutes a day to meet my needs when I have asked over and over? Why does he get mad at me because I need affection?

    The questions I think my husband is asking….Why can’t she just be happy just being in the same house? Why does she need daily affection? Why can’t the fact that I go to work and keep the lawn nice be enough? Why should I have to have conversations with her? Why can’t she just be happy with the way things are? Why can’t she just accept that I love her and that be enough? (he has voiced these at one time or another)

    I have a friend who is on this journey with me. We ask ourselves daily……Why does all of this have to be so hard? Why are we the wives doing all the work? There are no sites that we have found with men asking How can I get a closer relationship with my wife?

    This is going to seem negative but really I am just processing and hopefully revealing some raw emotion that might lead to clarity.

    Here is how we see our husbands….. They are happy when we do things the way they like. We are involved in activities they like. We only want intimate relations with they want them. We leave them alone unless they want to spend time with us.

    So it seems to have a happy husband who is not grumpy and moody, we are destined to daily sacrificially giving and repressing our needs and desires.

    Now saying all that, I have not forgotten April’s teachings that respectful behavior may lead to our husband’s caring about how needs and finding ways to meet them. But this was my thoughts when I read the men’s responses and looked at my life.

    All the men that answered said My wife needs to do X,Y and Z and that will make me want to spend more time with them. Why is it that the wives have to always follow the rules to get their needs met?

    1. Daisymae,

      My precious sister…

      BOTH husbands and wives are to give selflessly, die to self, focus on Christ, meet the needs of the other whether or not his/her own needs are being met – just because we love Jesus. Each person will be accountable to God for our own obedience to Him. But, I would REALLY, REALLY like for us not to focus on what husbands should do here because that is such a waste of our time! We can’t make them do stuff. We only control us. In fact, it is worse than a waste of our time, in my view, it is a destructive use of our time, because, for many of us, this line of thinking swiftly leads us into sin – bitterness, self-righteousness, self-pity, selfishness, resentment, unforgiveness, entitlement, fear and then those things lead us to even more disrespectful and controlling thoughts which then lead to sinful behaviors that bring destruction and death to the intimacy of our marriages on every level. I want us to have strong, vibrant, flourishing marriages! That is going to require that we take these thoughts captive for Christ and focus on us and Jesus.

      There are sites for husbands that talk about how husbands can be better and more loving. But you know what? Husbands don’t tend to read blogs or books – especially marriage blogs/books. They are not focused on emotionally connecting because that is primarily our need, not theirs. That is reality. We are more about relationships than they are. They are more likely to read about sports, hunting, golf, politics, etc… We were created to be THEIR helpmeets. We were made by God to bless our men. They are not our helpmeets. Yes, they can bless us, too. But that is between them and God, primarily.

      Actually, if your husband changed right now this second today and began doing every single thing you want him to do – you would very likely still not be content. If he did it just because you demanded or asked for it – you would probably question his motives, and rightly so. You may even lose respect for him. That is what we wives tend to do when we demand things and then our husbands cave and do what we demanded. Because we would know that what he did meant nothing if he only did it because we begged him to.

      We want our husbands to give us their time, affection and attention because they WANT to.

      Before we were married, they wanted to give us these things. Probably because we were so respectful and admiring and they were very attracted to us and wanted to be sure to keep us and not lose us. The way to encourage a husband to WANT to give us his time, affection and attention is to treat him well. Treating our husbands like dirt does not motivate them to want to love us more. If I were talking to husbands, I would be saying the same thing, but in reverse. But I am talking to wives, so I am only going to address what wives can control and what we can do.

      God can and will use all of these frustrations in our marriages to make us more holy and more like Christ if we are willing to allow Him to prune and chisel and refine us. This is hard because two sinners are married. Sinners sin against each other. And men and women are very different. We don’t automatically understand each other. We easily assume that they think like we do and they may easily assume we think like they do, but we don’t.

      Also, part of the curse is that our desire will be to control our husbands. Genesis 3. We are daughters of Eve. That makes things more complicated – along with our own sinful natures and selfishness- wanting what we want when we want it.

      We actually don’t control our husbands moods and emotions. They do. There are some wives who do everything “right” but their husbands are still sinners and are still grumpy and moody. If a man is far from God, he will have sin issues no matter what his wife does. But, as his wife obeys and honors Christ, it produces the best possible environment for him to be able to hear God’s voice.

      Here is what I suggest for the ladies who are struggling with these thoughts – and I know there are MANY – the vast majority – who are struggling with these same resentful, bitter thoughts…

      Check your motives.

      This is what I have to do. If I catch myself thinking, “Greg should do X” or “I deserve Y” I have to realize very quickly that I better do a very thorough heart check. It is fine for me to ask for what I need – but if I resent my husband for not giving me what I want – I am cherishing sin in my heart. I did that for MANY, MANY years and I cannot begin to tell you how destructive that was in my life and my marriage.

      Are my motives to:
      1. Love God with all my heart mind, soul and strength
      2. Honor and obey God
      3. Please Christ
      4. Bring great honor and glory to Jesus
      5. Bless my husband

      Or do I have other motives?

      If my motives are sinful, I will be bitter about not having what I want and not having my way and not having my needs met.

      If you are doing this in your own strength without the power of God – it will seem unfair, like drudgery and you will be very frustrated and upset that you can’t change your husband.

      If you are doing this in the power of God and your motives are pure, you will have the peace, joy and contentment of God flooding your soul even when your needs are not being met.

      I know this is frustrating, slow and painful. YES! It is. There is no way around that. Of course, the faster we learn to trust God and obey Him, the quicker things will generally begin to heal. But this is a long, slow process. Ultimately, it is not about our husbands. It is not about our marriages. This is ultimately about us and God. Do we love Him? Do we trust Him? Will we obey Him? Will see seek to please Him alone? Are we willing to suffer, if necessary, in order to do what He asks us to do? Are we willing to pick up our cross daily and follow Christ as Jesus asks all of His disciples to do? Are we willing to put God’s will above our own?

      Please, my precious sisters, take your eyes off of your husband and put them squarely on Jesus! THAT is what this whole thing is about.

      1. Ladies,

        If you are doing this journey just to make your husband do what you want and to feel loved by him and to change and control him, you are missing the ENTIRE point. Please check out some of these posts, I believe they may bless you and help you to put your eyes on Christ and the real purpose of the journey to become a godly wife – to know God and to be more like Jesus.

        Waiting Becomes Sweet
        Are You Willing to Sacrifice Your Isaac?
        Why Do I Have to Change First?
        This Is Not Working. I Don’t See Progress.
        Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Asked Him to Do
        Are Women Morally/Spiritually Superior to Men?
        Am I Really Justified?
        Contentment Results from Having Christ as LORD
        A Fellow Wife Reflects on Her Two Year Journey
        Stages of This Journey
        I Thought I Owned My Husband
        Nikka’s 3rd Heartbreaking Interview with Her Husband
        How to Make Your Husband an Idol

        1. This is all so good and so timely. God reminded me just this morning about how the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, when they were so CLOSE to the Promised Land….all because they didn’t trust and obey God. They took matters into their own hands, instead of trusting Him. For me, when I get frustrated with how long this process is taking and how slow the healing is coming, and how many of my needs are still not being met….the temptation to take matters into my own hands sets in…..and grows. At that point, all I can think about is standing up for my rights and trying to “fix it” by talking it out with my husband or doing something to “motivate him” to change. When I give in to this…..it often makes things worse…..or temporarily better, with an inevitable setback a few days later. Trusting God is HARD……especially when the world and even your Christian friends will tell you that you need to stand up for your rights and that you deserve better than this. I do know that I don’t want to prolong this agonizing process, so I am really leaning in to God……to hear His voice and what HE is telling me, so that I can be sure that I am being obedient. Thanks again for your prayers!

          1. NW Girl,

            Trusting God does not come naturally to us. Especially since most of us here tend to be controlling wives, we tend to trust SELF more than God. We have to watch that! I think you bring up such a great illustration. The Israelites COULD have been to the Promised Land in about 6 weeks from the time they left Egypt. But they chose not to trust God, not to put their faith in God, not to obey God and to try to do things their way – out of fear. And they ended up wandering for 40 years. God was very angry about their unbelief in Him. This is serious stuff! Our disobedience to God brings painful consequences on ourselves, our husbands, our marriages and our families. Our obedience brings blessings. I am not saying we will have no problems. We will! God promises we will suffer problems and trials in this life and that He will use them all for our ultimate good and His glory. But we receive spiritual blessings – His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. We also receive His promises (the ones that are conditional upon us) when we are acting in obedience, not when we are acting in disobedience.

            We can absolutely choose to try to do things in our own wisdom and trust ourselves and we can sabotage ourselves and cause this journey to be MUCH longer and MUCH more painful than necessary.

            God is not going to allow us to find contentment in anything but Himself. He will not allow us to find contentment in marriage or in our husbands instead of Himself. That is His mercy. The frustration and disappointment are flags to point us to Christ – the one who is able to satisfy our souls!

            Yes, the world, what is politically correct, our culture, our sinful natures, our friends, our family will tell us to look out for #1 and demand our rights and our way and to divorce our husbands if we are not happy. Who cares that God hates divorce and that this is a sacred COVENANT till death do us part. Who cares who gets hurt as long as we are happy. We treat happiness like such an idol today. Happiness is not the ultimate goal in life for a believer – being holy and honoring Christ and pleasing Him is the ultimate goal!

            As we seek to obey God – no matter what the cost – we will be blessed. We will be close to Him. That is the greatest blessing.

          2. Here is where I messed up in such a big way for so long – I was really trying to obey God in order to get what I REALLY wanted – control, my way, my husband’s love, happiness, romance, etc…

            Instead of seeking to know and obey God just for the pleasure of knowing and pleasing God. He is the Greatest Treasure. Until we really get that, we will keep seeking lesser things.

            Hope to write more soon!

          3. NW Girl,

            Thank you for reminding me about children of Israel. Joyce Meyer often speaks about going around and around and around the mountain. I don’t want to do that.

            I have gotten to the point that I can do things right outwardly towards my husband and be respectful and keep my mouth shut but inwardly I struggle. Not with resentment or anger but more of hurt. I guess that is part of the process.

          4. I love Joyce Meyer. Her podcasts have been SO helpful to me. SO have the podcasts from Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC. In fact, right now, Elevation is doing a series on marriage. One warning though, the pastor at Elevation always says the sweetest things to and about his wife. For me, that can be a trigger. I just have to be aware of it and prepare for it before I start to listen.

            You are not alone. The hurt is the worst, isn’t it? I have gotten to the point that I will have to excuse myself from the room and go cry out to God in the shower (or another private place). I tell Him that I am at the end of what I can do in my own strength and understanding and ask Him to take over the situation. I also ask Him to show me what I need to learn in this. He has been good and faithful to do that. It’s not easy, but it works for me. It also helps to look back at the progress in this journey……to see what God has already done. It builds my faith in Him and what he is doing now and in the future. Praying for you!

          5. NW Girl,

            You know what is funny about what you said. My husband always sweet things about me to other people, but no longer says them to me. I have been shocked more than once when a relative or work friend of his said to me, Your husband speaks so highly of you! When I ask my husband about it, he said Oh they were just saying something polite, but I know people don’t generally say that unless it occurred. So I wonder why he would not want me to know that he speaks highly of me….

            Could it be that the pastor says those things from the pulpit but not to her face?
            I try to remember that whenever I see a husband that seems so perfect in public, that they might not be a home. So that is not too much of a trigger for me.

            You are right. I do need to concentrate on the progress I have made more. I have come a long way.
            Thank you so much for your prayers!

          6. My husband is the same way. He used to say all sorts of sweet things to me when we were first together. He actually continued to do this (even though the frequency decreased) up until the big meltdown argument that started this journey last September. Then it stopped entirely. 🙁 Now, he will occasionally say something sweet to me. In fact, he posted a brag about me as a Facebook post on Sunday and I can’t even tell you what that did to my heart. God is good. He is at work. I just need to focus on that fact more…..and focus MUCH LESS on how much further in this journey my husband and I need to go. Maybe the key is to be present in this moment and appreciate the good in the right now? I’m just thinking out loud here….

          7. NW Girl,

            Those are very good places to focus – God’s goodness, God working, praises, good things, how far God has brought you, how trustworthy God is, enjoying the moment and not allowing yourself to try to zoom ahead into the future and figure everything out yourself. 🙂

          8. NW Girl,
            Thank you for this! Thank you for loving our sisters and encouraging them and sharing your struggles AND for showing what it looks like to look to God in faith in the midst of the trials.

          9. It’s my pleasure. I’m just happy that God can bring good out of my struggles…that He takes what the enemy means to harm us and turns it around to bless us and others. Our God is SO GOOD!

            This conversation has greatly blessed me today as well. I’m very thankful for this place of encouragement. 🙂

          10. Daisymae,

            The outward respect comes first. The inward comes last. That is normal. Getting rid of sinful thoughts and learning to take them captive for Christ and refining our motives is a VERY involved process where God strips us of all of our sin. It can take some time!

            Check out this post by Nina Roesner about how this journey generally goes. I think it is so helpful!

      2. Thank you April 🙂 I do understand all that. I really do. I try to focus on pleasing God and not what my husband is or isn’t doing. My head knows, my heart struggles. I think that the men responding on what their wives needed to do just triggered a wave of emotion. They weren’t looking at themselves and what they needed to do but what their wife needed to change to get her needs met.

        I am sharing your response right now with my friend.

        Another thing I would like to see you address in your blog or steer me to past blogs is how far do we go in submission before it is irresponsible? I have stated before that everything is in my name because my husband credit was ruined before we married after his lay off. I still bring almost twice the income he does. He would do things like not pay the house payment and go on vacation. Or run the credit cards up to the point that we couldn’t make he minimum payments. I don’t submit in these areas because I think it would be irresponsible to say ok God, I am submitting and letting my husband make all the decisions, so fix it when we lose our house and my credit is ruined also.

        I try so hard everyday to be able to understand all this but I am struggling.

        Feel free to delete my earlier comment if you want to. I don’t want to make anyone else stumble with my struggles.

        1. I would be interested in reading the answer to Daisymae’s question-how far do we go into submission before we act? We’ve already lost our home and one car due to his spending, he continues to run up credit card debt as I try to pay it down. Do we say nothing, run our family into the ground, become homeless and bankrupt, while waiting on God to teach him? I need to know the answer also.

          1. Jeannette and DaisyMae,

            I wish I could hug both of your necks!

            This journey is hard and sometimes it is very confusing and difficult to know which way to go.

            Ultimately, each wife will stand accountable before God about this – and each husband will, too. If a husband is not in his right mind – is manic, bipolar, on drugs, an alcoholic or is addicted to gambling – in my view, a wife needs to seek godly counsel and there may be times that it would be unwise for her to submit when he is not thinking clearly and his not in his right mind. Or if he is asking her to do something seriously dangerous – i.e.: lift a heavy couch when she is 9 months pregnant. There can be times when we do need to say, “I can’t do this. I want to honor you. But I am just not able to do this.” I take a wife refusing to submit to her husband very seriously – since, it could be sin. But there are times when a wife should not submit.

            There are times when wives have strongly believed they needed to follow their husbands into situations that involve bankruptcy – and God has used such things to teach husbands and train them in responsibility and leadership. There may be times when a wife needs to reach outside of the marriage for help. Do I have the wisdom for what each wife should do in each particular situation? Nope.

            This is going to require fasting, prayer, great sensitivity to God’s Spirit and His wisdom.

            For some generalities, the post Spiritual Authority does address some of these things.

            Is it possible to be “too submissive” to our husbands? YES!

            If a husband is in his right mind and is not asking his wife to clearly sin, and she strongly disagrees with him, she can “submit under protest.”

            Ladies,
            Let’s seek God for His wisdom. He alone knows the future and knows what is best in each situation. I am praying for you to take lots of time alone in fervent prayer with God, asking Him to show you any sin you may need to repent of, and asking Him for sensitivity to His Spirit and for wisdom from His Word as well as wisdom for your husband to lead the family well.

            If a husband is not in his right mind, please seek appropriate help!

            Much love,
            April

          2. Thank you April. I guess, I do, in reality submit under protest. I never say No, you are not going to spend that money. I say I don’t feel like it is a good idea or I feel that it is irresponsible but if you want to do that you can. I will not be a part of it. And he has never gone ahead and done it when I said those things. I will begin to fervently prayer about this and see where God leads.

          3. Daisymae,
            That is a very good sign, to me at least, that you are sharing your concerns. And that your husband apparently cares about them and is not just irresponsibly plowing ahead.

            YES! Fervent prayer! That is an awesome idea!

          4. Jeannette,
            I’m hardcore headship/submission. With that said, submission never means you “say nothing.” Nor does it mean you allow sin to not be brought into the light as a wife. When sin is serious, and for a man not to be supporting his family (either thru not working, or thru reckless spending/gambling) is a serious sin. Husbands, while in authority in their homes are not above being called on their sin and into repentence. That act should be done in a respectful (and loving way), but done nevertheless. Matthew 18 is a key scripture here.

            But with that said the other side of the coin is, how far do you go into submission before you act? All the way, in all things God’s Word says (as long as he is not asking you to sin). It should be mentioned that if you just started this journey to being a submissive wife you need to put in some time (how much I can not tell you) before you start dealing with his sin (unless of course he is physically hurting you or the children then it needs to be dealt with right away).

            So the flip side of speaking to him about this & then if nothing happens bring him before the elders/pastor (of course while praying for him), is if you end up in your car- you end up in your car with him. I’m sure Sarah did not agree with Abraham’s decisions and yet she is the example we are given in scripture for a wife to follow. I know that is hard truth to hear but it is what God’s Word says. Many of our hero’s of the faith we find in the bible lived out of worse than a car. Most men I know (not all unfortunately) are going to turn around and not take for granted a woman that stays with him, loves and respects him when he hits bottom like that. Sometimes hitting bottom is what it takes for a man to turn around (not saying you should wait for that- walk thru Matthew 18 as the Holy Spirit and hopefully an older, godly women mentors you) & change. Some of the best family men I know were once at rock bottom- homeless or in jail or…and the ones whose wife stuck by them are valued more than most any wife in the world by these men.

          5. CL847,
            I totally agree that submission doesn’t mean we say nothing. I believe it is our duty and responsibility as wives to share our concerns, desires, needs and sometimes to confront our husbands sin – in accordance with scripture.

            Does Being a Submissive Wife Mean I Can’t Say What I Need or Want?

            Biblical Submission Does Not = The Husband is Always Right

            And, the post, Spiritual Authority – also goes into much greater detail on these issues.

            Thanks so much, CL847!

        2. Hi Daisymae! I am glad you posted your thoughts and hope April won’t delete them, because they are the very things so many of us struggle with at times. It is ok to honestly acknowledge we have them. Hopefully April and NW Girl helped bridge the chasm between what you were feeling with the truth. I think their replies were very wise and helpful for any of us women whose minds occasionally veer in that direction in getting us back on the right track with the correct motives!

          Hugs to you! I’m glad you have a friend to encourage and be encouraged by as you travel this road together!

          -HisHelper

        3. Daisymae,
          I think that you articulate what many wives are feeling – so I am going to leave it up. But, I did put a caution on the post, so hopefully other wives won’t be triggered, too.

          The financial thing can be hard. It is also a very real spiritual test.

          Sometimes, husbands are irresponsible. Of course, if we take over the finances, they will probably continue to be irresponsible. Does that mean you should give the finances to him and just trust him? I don’t know. For some wives, I think they are led by God to do that, and then their husbands learn, often the hard way, how to be responsible. But that does involve failing sometimes. Are we willing to do that? It would certainly be a sacrifice. Is that what God is calling every wife to do? I don’t know.

          Check out this beautiful example from MarriageMissions.com:

          Here’s a good example of a wife showing her husband respect, admiration, and love he needed from her:

          One of the pastors I respected greatly was E.V. Hill, who served for many years as pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. When E.V. first began in the ministry, he was a hard worker who wanted to provide for his wife, but he was also a young preacher who struggled to make enough money just to pay for the necessities.

          Pastor Hill’s wife appreciated his efforts to protect and provide for her, even though some months there wasn’t enough money to pay all the bills. One night, he came home and noticed immediately that the house was dark. When he opened the door, he saw that his wife, Jane, had prepared a candlelight dinner. He loved the idea, but when he went to the bathroom to wash up, he flipped the light switch and nothing happened. Then he went to the bedroom and tried the lights. Again… there was nothing. The entire house was dark.

          He went back and asked his wife why the lights didn’t work. Jane began to cry and said, “You work so hard, but it’s rough. I didn’t have enough money to pay the electric bill. I didn’t want you to know about it, so I thought we would just eat by candlelight!”

          Dr. Hill described this experience with deep emotion: “My wife could have said, “I never had this happen in the home I was raised in.” But she didn’t berate or blame him. Instead she said, “Somehow we’ll get these lights back on, but tonight let’s eat by candlelight.”

          Our calling to love and respect is a calling regardless of what the other person does. It’s sacrificial. It’s in the scriptures. It works!

          The above article comes from the book, One Marriage Under God: Building an Everlasting Love, written by H. Norman Wright, published by Multnomah. This is a book that will help you see things from God’s perspective, clarifying the institution of marriage as God originally created it—a beautiful committed, eternal bond. Dr Wright gives insights on: Whether you married the “right” or “wrong” person is entirely up to you… God has a good plan for every marriage … Your marriage needs to be re-created daily… The culture’s alternatives to marriage are destructive; God’s plan is flawless… The benefits of marriage are a carefully guarded secret… and “Me” or “We?”

          1. April,

            See I would be just like her! I have told my husband many times and I mean it that I would live in a shack with no electricity or running water if that is all he could provide. I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth so I know I could live with a lot less and be happy.

            Where I struggle is waste. God has provided us with a nice home and a way to pay our bills and we just throw that away to have more stuff or a fancy vacation for the moment? I would see that as a huge sin!

          2. Daisymae,

            I do understand where you are coming from, and I often feel this way, too! In fact, I used to lecture Greg about how we shouldn’t be “worldly” or “materialistic” and that we needed to give a lot more to ministries, orphans and the poor. I actually was considering giving to charities behind Greg’s back at one point. I can remember asking my sisters’ more spiritually mature sisters-in-law about this. I knew it was God’s will for us to be generous to those in need. Greg didn’t want to give as much as I did. I resented him and was so prideful, self righteous and disrespectful. I really thought God would bless my giving if I gave out of rebellion against Greg with bitterness and condemnation against Greg in my heart. As if God needed my money.

            Here is how I approach the issue of my husband wanting to spend money on things that I consider to be “luxuries” now,maybe it will help? I don’t know…

            I share what I desire or what I don’t want to spend money on. But then if he wants to take us on a vacation, I thank him and enjoy it. I know he will stand accountable to God for his decisions as the spiritual head of our home, not me. I know that he will not always make perfect decisions and give him grace. I don’t seek to judge his motives but trust that God will give him wisdom and direction and that if my husband is being materialistic, selfish or worldly that God’s spirit will convict him in due time. I no longer lecture him, condemn him, look down on him or complain or argue. I trust Greg’s judgment and I trust God to speak to Greg. I know that he is on his own journey, too. And that God is able to open his eyes to things that are important to God without my help. I don’t assume my husband is sinning in his heart if he wants to spend money differently from how I want to. I pray for him – not for God to change him, but for God to bless him and draw Greg’s heart closer and closer to Himself. I pray for God to change anything in me that He wants to. I pray that God might show me how to be a blessing to Greg.

            If God desires Greg to be more frugal or give more to ministry or the poor, God’s Spirit is perfectly able to take care of showing him this. In the mean time, I wait on God and trust God, resting peacefully in God’s sovereignty. That is the key to peace, even when we disagree with our husbands, understanding God’s sovereignty.

            Much love to you!!! 🙂

        4. Daisymae,
          My blog is exactly for the women who are hurting and struggling. I didn’t have a mentor or anyone to help point me back to Christ and His Word when I got off track. Maybe that is why it took me 2.5 years to begin to grasp what on earth respect and biblical submission even looked like in real life!??

          It’s ok to share your pain here. It’s ok to ask the hard questions.

          I don’t have all the answers, but I will do my best to love you, hug your neck and point you to Jesus.

          I’m glad you are here!

    2. I can hardly believe that I wrote this post. It seems like it was months ago and really only a couple of weeks.

      I think, I hope, I was just in a bad place due to my health before my surgery.

      God really dealt with me about this. God is showing me daily that I need to allow Him to fulfill me. A person can never do that.

      I still kept falling back on fixing my marriage, making it perfect. God is showing me that it doesn’t need fixing. It was me that was not in a good place.

      I used to miss my husband any time he was away. I used to be obsessed about spending time together and would be upset when it didn’t happen.
      I feel so differently now. I was putting my husband first instead of God. My husband was feeling smothered and I was feeling unstable.

      I am recovering from surgery now. I am spending the next 30 days focusing on God alone, not my marriage, not my husband. I am excited to see where this leads.

      1. Daisymae,
        WOOHOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I am so excited about what God is doing in you! And, maybe you are physically stronger now, too. Thank you so much for sharing this. It is beautiful! I love you, my precious sister!

  7. I picked my husband up from work one night, and the first words out of his mouth were “We’re going for a drink.” Ladies, I was exhausted and looked like it…but I said OK and went with him. I ordered a soda and sat with him at the bar for two hours. I didn’t talk; I just listened while he vented about the crappy day he had, while trying to hide my yawns. Anywho…we finally leave and as we’re getting into the car, hubby turns to me and says “Thank you.” I was shocked! I didn’t do anything…except sit there and listen.

    1. April,

      Wow! I think we WAY underestimate the power of us just being there and listening to our men sometimes. That speaks volumes of love, honor and respect to them. Thank you so much for sharing! And what a beautiful testimony, that your husband wanted to share these things with you, and didn’t leave you home and go to the bar by himself and vent to a stranger. THANK YOU for being a safe place for him to share his pain, discouragement and stress.

  8. It was a good call not allowing monospherish comments. I stumbled upon manosphere sites when I first started this journey. There are also a lot of weird domestic discipline sites that proclaim to be Christian, but the husbands are spanking the wives and degrading them and one woman was even raped by her husband and the wife thought it was good because it “broke” her. It took me a while to find your site, April! I had to sift through some pretty crazy things!

    1. Lisa,

      There is a lot of pain in the world, and a lot of approaches people try to take to fix things. But the only real hope is in Jesus and His truth. It is my prayer that Jesus and His Word and His love might always have preeminence here!

    2. Lisa,
      Oh! And I do not allow domestic discipline types of comments here either. I actually get quite a few of those – but Greg and I most emphatically do not support that lifestyle.

      1. April,

        The craziest part about the Christian DD blogs is that you can’t tell that’s what they are for a while! It’s all about God and respecting your husband and then suddenly there is a blog post about the wife being spanked until she loses control of her bladder! True story! I’m not sure why you finally showed up in my searches. Maybe I finally added a word I hadn’t in the past. Submission, Christian, exc. still yield undesirable results in a search!

        1. Lisa,

          Oh wow.
          That is just awful. 🙁

          Yes. If you google “submission” there are a bunch of awful things that come up, and there is my site. Sometimes I do wish we could coin a new word since the word submission has been so twisted and hijacked.

          1. This is true. I know God has sovereignly ordained this website to be found as a beacon in the midst of dark results that are found while searching for truth and information about this journey that many of us are on. So grateful for this website and for the encouragement and comments from you, April, the other women on this journey and the men who contribute as well. Thank you, Lord!

  9. To everyone who’s discouraged and tired and wishes things were different: God sees. He cares. April’s ministry to encourage women to focus on their own relationships with The Lord is wonderful!! And our sin ALWAYS stands in the way of good things (even if those good things are different than the things we originally were on the lookout for). Just remember, the hurts in your heart matter very much to the King of Kings. That’s not to say there’s room for self-pity, resentment, pride. There’s not! There should be no room for sin in our lives, in our hearts. We don’t need to be – and shouldn’t be – victims, either. Just remember that God really, really does love you as a parent – he really does care if you’re discouraged or broken hearted in your marriage. He knows better than anyone what it is to feel pain and grief. He KNOWS. And he will walk through it with you if you seek his presence. Be uplifted.

    1. A Sister in Christ,

      Thank you so much for this! I appreciate you encouraging and loving on our hurting sisters!! Praying that each one who is hurting might find healing, rest, comfort and hope in Jesus tonight.

  10. Oh mu goodness! Man #2..you have opened my eyes to a lot of things but mainly the “eyes glazed ovet” comment. If I get my mouth to going about my day or something I am interested in ie; scrapbooking. ..he will listen for about a nanosecond then his eyes will glaze over and wonder back to the t.v. and I can completely stop talking and it will take him a minute to even notice lol. He’ll jump and say “I’m sorry, I’m listening” what were you saying? I’ve got this! Thanks for clearing that up in my pink female brain. I knew men like a summary rather than detail but you added even more to it for me anyway.

    1. LearningtoLean,

      I think this is important! Greg explained to me this summer that he has limits about hearing about certain topics. He can listen for a few minutes, but then he reaches a saturation point. I can absolutely understand that. There are topics that are the same way for me!

      So glad this blessed you!

      1. I think I must be weird because I feel like this every day. My husband talks so much about all the things he finds interesting. No matter what I’m doing he comes to find me and talk at me. And he does the same to my kids. There is no such thing as a give and take in conversation with my husband. We are all super frustrated by it. But I never say anything because I don’t want to hurt his feelings and shut down communication entirely. This effects everything in our household. I can hardly bring myself to even consider intimacy because, at the end of the day, I feel like a non-entity in this house. I really need some help!

        1. Brooke,

          I am so sorry you are so frustrated! 🙁

          So, what is it that you want to say? What is it that you need?

          You feel like a non-entity because you don’t share your heart, thoughts, needs and ideas? What would happen if you respectfully shared these things, do you think?

          Is your husband dealing with any mental health issues or addictions?

          Much love!
          April

  11. I wanted to make sure that I thanked the men who contributed to this. My earlier comments did not show appreciation. Even though it was a trigger for me, I am glad they were willing to share and explain how they feel.

  12. Love getting the male perspective on things – its given me some great ideas to try in my own house! My husband is redoing our master bathroom, and I just went in and watched him work, and eventually he turned around and started telling me about his plans. I could tell he was excited to share with me what he wanted to do. And instead of “taking control”, I just listened. I could tell he liked that I didn’t try to tell him how I thought it should be done.

    I did tell him what I wanted in our new closet … he was going to put in very little hanging space and a lot of custom shelves, custom shoe racks, and drawers. I told him the closet looked incredible and then said “I would like more hanging space.” And then dropped it. When I came home the next night … I had more hanging space AND he had organized all of my clothes and purses in my part of the closet.

    I can see this working wonders in my marriage, even in the short time I have been on this journey. I am happier and I can tell my husband is, too. He doesn’t give me a lot of signs right now, but when I look for them, they are there.

    I don’t feel at all like I have given up my voice or forgotten my wants and needs. Instead, I express them in a way that makes my husband want to respond positively. It really does work – and I was a huge skeptic!!

    Having the men respond has really helped me see from a male point of view what practical things I can do on a day to day basis to help. Thanks for sharing!

    1. sc13,

      WOOHOO!!!!!!

      Exactly! You aren’t giving up your voice. In fact, you are GAINING MUCH influence in the relationship. You are speaking your husband’s language. 🙂

      This is awesome. Thanks so much for sharing!

  13. April and dear sisters,

    On the subject of anniversaries, I’d like to share how my husband and I decided to celebrate each one.

    For our first anniversary we spent the weekend at a bed and breakfast. It was a lovely experience! We meandered through the countryside on Saturday, visiting little villages nearby on our way to the B & B, even eating dinner at a little cafe called “The Lunch Box,” which was a delightful experience. We each had a sandwich due to being on a budget, but the owner came over to talk to us and explained his eclectic collections and how he had furnished the entire place with God’s blessing and $3,000. Then he said he was a pastor with a small country church several miles away and we enjoyed the most wonderful conversation.
    The next morning we stayed in bed just talking, drinking coffee, laughing, and reminiscing about our first year together before we leisurely made our way home to begin another week. That experience was so rich with love, relaxation, and enjoyment that we looked at each other and said almost simultaneously, “Let’s do this every year and let it be our present to each other!”

    Giving presents is such an “iffy” thing! Most men hate shopping for them and worry constantly that it isn’t “right,” and let’s face it, what they select often isn’t our taste. The type of present we receive is NOT the real measure of our husband’s love for each other, so why do any of us believe that it is? I think when we do it’s because our culture and jewelry companies with an agenda and mega-million-dollar advertising budgets have brainwashed us into believing that. I let go of my expectations with regard to gifts and am so much happier now! And the B & B weekends, which my husband and I will remember for many years, is something we both treasure. Why not try it? Even if there is no money for that, the same results can be had with simply camping somewhere pretty and having a picnic together. Much love to you all!

  14. I want to ask advice (men and women) on something I have been struggling with for quite some time. I almost feel as if I’m under some sort of an attack because I just can’t seem to get through this, and I’m ashamed at how much it has affected me.

    Last year I was going through a rough time with accepting the fact that my husband and I were just never going to be good communicators. I kept telling myself how great of a husband and father he was and because he was an introvert (I am too but since I’m a stay at home mom, it’s nice to have adult conv.) I could probably accept the fact that 20 words or less a day would be okay.

    Well, while in the process of coming to terms with this, I started to witness my husband talking with one of the ladies in our Bible study. At first, this didn’t bother me and I didn’t think anything about it. After some time though I saw them form a friendship (and at one point I had to tell him he was letting his guard down and needed to be careful – I’d rather not go into detail about it) and this really, really bothered me. If he can talk to her so easily, why can’t he have a conversation with his own wife?

    I try not to be controlling and I’m not a “nag” (I’m mindful of how I speak to him and try to be respectful). He knows how important it is for me to have some sort of dialog (house, kids, his work, politics, sports, bills, anything) but very little has changed. My problem is not necessarily with our lack of communication, my problem is that he can so easily have it with someone else! The enemy really likes to toy with me late at night with lies that he should be married to her..he’s more drawn to her..and on and on. This is soooo ridiculous! I married a wonderful, committed man. And if that’s the case (which I truly believe it is), why can’t I move past this? Why does it get to me so much? It’s very painful..

    1. Overcomer,

      It’s great to meet you!

      What was your husband like with you when you were dating and first married? Has he been particularly stressed at work or home lately? Does he suffer from any mental health issues?

      I would like to invite you to check out the posts at the top of my home page about disrespect and respect to see if there might be any helpful info for you there.

      I’m glad that you are seeing where those destructive thoughts are coming from. I pray for wisdom and healing for you and for strengthening and God’s greatest glory in your marriage. 🙂

      How is your walk with Christ going?

      Sending you a HUGE hug, my precious sister!

  15. well hello there, my name is Rochelle, i really liked this post, i see where the last husband was coming from… but my question lies here, what if the things i am saying to my husband are true, like if he is being lazy or slacking at work, or spending too much time with friends in leisure activities instead of with the family, also it is hard when other people around me say this stuff about him, and i want to stick up for hubby but they are right…. :,( how do i go about that?? I just try to stick up for him around others but then go home and say listen this is what you need to change but doesnt seem to work. I want him to spend more time with me and the family, i mean he is not neglecting us but i wish i could get to the point where i dont care either way but i do

    1. Forgivenchild,

      My sweet sister, this is a great question!

      Here is where I try to draw the line. I do not attempt to judge my husband’s motives on issues where I cannot clearly see his heart and know his thoughts – which are most things. I spent over 14 years judging my husband as having evil motives, and it turns out, I was very wrong. He really did love me all those years. What I didn’t realize was that I was pushing him away with my disrespectful attitudes and words and my judgmental, critical, controlling spirit.

      Many times, he has a totally different masculine perspective than I do that I just did not understand. Once I understood his mind and heart, I realized he had no evil motives. I was falsely accusing him. 🙁

      Instead of labeling him – lazy, selfish, spending “too much time” with his friends – which are all subjective judgments on your part – how about ask for what you want and then allow him to make the choice as a grown man?

      – Honey, I’d really love it if you would spend some time with us this weekend. Here are a few ideas I had. What do you think? (Then, he may need time to think about it.)
      – Sweetheart, here is something that needs to be done around the house. It would mean so much to me if you had a chance to check on that soon.

      If he is being lazy or slacking at work – that is between him and God and between him and his boss primarily. It isn’t really about you. You are not the Holy Spirit and it is not your job to convict him of sin or to judge his heart. You can praise him when you see him working hard at something and tell him how much you appreciate that strong work ethic and his being so productive. You can tell him how much it means to you when he works hard and how you admire that about him when he does.

      You are not his mama.
      You are not his boss.
      You are not the Holy Spirit – only He can convict people and bring them to repentance and regenerate their hearts, minds, and souls
      You are not the accuser – Satan is already filling that position without any help from us

      It could be time to reconsider your approach.

      There are times when a wife may need to address her concerns with her husband. But then, we cannot force them to do what we want them to do. They must make their own decisions. All adults get to have free will from God like that.
      “Confronting Our Husbands about Their Sin”

      I’m glad you don’t bash him to other people. But as a wife who spent over 14 years trying to change my husband – I can promise you – trying to force him to change won’t work. That’s actually a good thing. It is a very spiritually and emotionally unhealthy man who would be willing to immediately bend over backwards to do every single thing you demand.

      What things do you truly admire and respect about him? Have you been sharing those things?

      Do you use a friendly, pleasant tone of voice and facial expression around him like you are glad to see him?

      Do you make home a safe, friendly, peaceful, pleasant place to be or does he feel attacked, condemned, criticized, judged, and looked down upon at home?

      What needs does your husband have in the marriage, and how are you going out of your way to meet them?

      Does he have any mental health disorders or addictions?

      Does he feel respected by you? Please check out the posts about disrespect and respect at the top of my home page.

      And, please check out this post, “Why Your Husband May Not Immediately Do What You Want Him Him To Do”

      Are you willing to be satisfied and content in Christ no matter what your husband does or does not do? If not, is it possible that feeling loved or romance or your husband might be idols in your heart?

      How to Make Your Husband an Idol
      The Idol of Happiness
      The Answer to All of Your Marriage Problems

      Much love to you! Let me know what God speaks to your heart. I am excited about what He is about to do in your life! 🙂

  16. thank you! I needed to hear a lot of that, it is true i am judging him a lot! I suppose as obvious as i may think it is he is all those things, i really don’t know his heart the way God does… & as far as his work even though it bothers me, i am sure God can work on his heart there… and as long as i am encouraging him maybe God will speak through my encouragement. I like to think i make the house a comforting place to come home to but of course i have my days… for the most part i pride myself on being a respectful wife MOST of the time but i fall short more than i’d like.

    sometimes i do belive i make my husbands love or feeling loved an idol 🙁 I will need to pray and work on that. I am hoping if i continue to encourage my husband and respect and love him and try to build him up more he will become more the man God desires him to be!
    I know God and the Holy Spirit can do far more than i ever could.
    thanks for your wisdon April
    God bless you and your family

    forgiven child <3

    1. forgivenchild,

      I like the direction you are going and that you are willing to listen to God here. 🙂 That is awesome! If you haven’t already, you can search my home page for “idol” and “idolatry” – may be some helpful posts!

      Much love to you, my precious sister! Sending you a big hug!

My grandmother is on hospice and won't be with us much longer (11-30-16). I will get to comments when I am able to but I need to be with family right now. Thanks for understanding.

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